Tips To Succeed In Your Networking Efforts

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You've probably heard of the success stories of people who found their jobs through networking. But you might have also heard that it's not a reliable way to find work. Who's right?


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Is networking necessary? I recently wrote an article titled, What's The Most Important Element Of A Successful Job Search?, which explains networking as one of the most important elements of a successful job search.

Networking is a necessary part of the job search process. It often feels uncomfortable, and it can feel like you're being disingenuous by creating relationships with people you don't know well just so that you can get what you want out of them at some point in the future. But networking is a way to build your professional network and to advance your career. It's not an act of manipulation or a way to gain favour; it's simply another way of doing business that people have been doing for hundreds of years.

If you're not naturally an introvert who does not enjoy meeting new people, networking might sound like a daunting task. While formal networking is effective, it can be time-consuming, and unless you're highly adept at it, it can feel artificial. But don't worry!

Here are some tips for succeeding in your networking efforts:

  • First, go out of your comfort zone and try things that you wouldn't normally do. There's no better way to learn how to be comfortable with networking than actually doing it!
  • Second, try doing something totally random with a person who works in a profession that interests you. For example, if you are interested in public relations have lunch occasionally with someone from an agency. If more opportunities to network come up because of that one lunch, it was totally worth it!
  • Third and most importantly, be willing to be of mutual assistance whenever necessary. One day someone may be asking for your help; don't turn them down!

The rationale behind networking is that when you help someone else out in a mutually beneficial transaction, both parties walk away feeling good about each other - and the best part is that it doesn't take any preparation beforehand. You don't need to wait for a chance encounter at a conference or trade show; there are plenty of ways to help other people out in your everyday life.

There are lots of ways to expand your network, including joining professional associations, attending seminars and conferences, mentoring younger employees, volunteering in your community, and taking advantage of any connections that come your way.

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